Dr. Kolivras investigates how environmental variability and change affects the spread of vector-borne disease.
Many factors can affect the incidence and rate of vector-borne diseases, including climate change, population change, and changes in land use. Using geographic information systems (GIS), Dr. Kolivras analyzes multiple data sets to determine where disease is occuring most often, and which factors are contributors, in order to predict future outbreak models. One of her studies looks at the incidence of Lyme Disease in Virginia, and its prevalence among areas where forest land meets agricultural land. Since 1999, the number of cases of Lyme disease in Virginia has more than quintupled, with 1,023 cases reported in 2011.